Monday, November 21, 2011

Sweet Potato Cupcakes With Cream Cheese & Browned Butter Frosting and Candied Pecans

Just the other day, somebody was asking Mom why we put our forks facing down in the dishwasher since they supposedly get cleaner facing tines up.

"Just trying to make it child friendly." she replied, "Don't want anyone to get hurt."

Psh. Like anybody is gonna slam their hand into a fork while it's in the dishwasher!

"I have got to try this fork facing up business." thought I.

So I was loading the dishwasher last night, like I always do, except all the forks were facing up, with their hazardous tips glistening forebodingly in the dim evening light.

And then, just as I was jamming one last plate in beside the silverware, I suddenly felt a sharp stabbing pain in my favorite finger. My right pointer had the tine of a fork lodged into it. It was quite gruesome.

So I went and sat on the couch curled up in a ball and whimpering for a while.

"Piggie, you'll have to finish cleaning the kitchen for me. This hurts so bad, I'm LITERALLY CRYING."

"You don't look like you're crying."

"There is moisture in my eyes. Please. I can't go back there."

Luckily there was nothing too nasty on the fork. I might just get browned butter poisoning or something. 

So about these cupcakes. They are probably the best I've ever made. I got the idea for sweet potato cupcakes from this awesome cake. They turned out super moist and flavorful. I mean, you know how I feel about sweet potatoes (best things everrrrrrr). And browned butter? Other best thing ever.
Also, if you want to make it into a cake, just bake it at 350º instead of 375º for about 30-40 minutes or so in greased and floured 8 inch cake pans. 

Sweet Potato Cupcakes With Cream Cheese & Browned Butter Frosting

Makes 2 1/2 dozen

For the cupcakes:
40 oz. sweet potatoes, canned or boiled and mashed
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger

For the frosting:
2 sticks butter
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar

For the pecans:
2/3 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

First of all, brown your butter for the frosting. Cook on medium heat on the stove, whisking occasionally until it's brown. Be careful not to burn it though. Now put it in the freezer so it can cool.
Preheat the oven to 375º. Line cupcake tins with adorable cups that you got at Hobby Lobby.
Whisk together the mashed potatoes, oil, eggs, vanilla, maple extract, and brown sugar. Whisk together really well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add to the sweet potato mixture and whisk until combined.
Fill the cupcake tins about 3/4 full. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Now the brown butter should be hardening. Take it out and let it get soft. Add the cream cheese and whisk until well combined. Add the cinnamon and vanilla and whisk well. Add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until well combined. Frost cupcakes.
Now for the pecans. First, grease a large sheet of parchment paper. Put the pecans in a large pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the butter and brown sugar. Stir with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom well, until all the sugar is melted and completely liquid. Spread the pecans on the parchment paper, separating them with the spatula so that they don't clump together. Top the frosted cupcakes with pecans.

Oh, in all that wild hysteria from the stab wound, I almost forgot to tell you my news! I am proud to announce that I have bought a new camera lens. Before I was just using the old thing that came with my Canon Rebel, but the new one is a 35mm f/1.4. It bringeth me great joy.


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